Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups, Streamers and DFS Plays
The All-Star break is upon us. Come Friday, setting lineups and data mining for DFS bargains separate themselves from our lives for a week and significantly reduce Internet usage. I love the NBA, yet invest little time in All-Star weekend. Fortunately, the Winter Olympics is a viable option for those of us who don’t care about celebrity hoops or will watch the 30th anniversary of the greatest Slam Dunk Contest of all time (Dominique Wilkens got robbed. Robbed, I tells ya!).
Don’t take an early vacation on your team or get lazy with DFS selections. We still have work to do, kids.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire
Josh Hart, G, Lakers: Don’t hold your breath on a target date for Lonzo Ball’s return, which makes Hart a viable pickup. Owned in just four percent of CBSSports.com leagues last week, Hart is now at 36 percent and a fixture in the starting lineup. His 11.6 usage rate has nowhere to go but up, and Hart is averaging 5.7 rebounds per game over his last 10. Even with Isaiah Thomas on the roster, Hart’s production won’t decrease, especially since the team views him as a better long-term option than Thomas, who will be in another locale sometime this summer.
George Hill, G, Cavaliers: Somehow, I get the feeling this was Hill’s reaction when he learned he was being paroled from the Kings on Thursday. Sure, there’s the issue of God, Country and LeBron’s Touches (not necessarily in that order) that comes with putting on a Cleveland uniform, but Hill’s Fantasy value has new life, evident in the jolt from 46 percent to 59 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues. Hill is shooting 47 percent from the field and 45 percent from beyond the arc, while also sporting an assist ratio above 20 percent in each of the last seven seasons. He’s a better player than his pedestrian 14.15 Player Efficiency Rating indicates. All the more reason to grab him if he’s available in your league.
Dragan Bender, F, Suns: With Marquese Chriss playing his way toward the All-Bust team, Bender has taken advantage of his opportunity, with Saturday’s 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists being perhaps his best all-around game of the season. He’s averaging a respectable 13.5 points, 6.3 boards, and 2.5 assists this month, as Saturday’s game was his second with more than 30 FP in his last six games. Still, he’s more of a deep league play, as he’s owned in just 15 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. He is worth keeping an eye on.
You need it, it's here! pic.twitter.com/YCVUjLgrMF
— NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) February 8, 2018
D.J. Augustin, G, Magic: Elfrid Payton’s trade deadline departure to the Suns means Augustin will become the starting point guard for Orlando. Augustin had a 40.25 Fantasy point night against the Hawks on Thursday, and he was the biggest riser in ownership in CBSSports.com leagues, going from three percent to 41 percent. He’s not much of a shooter but he should be a solid option for those in search of assists, especially since the Magic are a surprising seventh in pace factor.
Streamers. Lots of Streamers
Dwight Powell, F, Mavericks: For the love of all things in the paint, Powell is shooting… (wait for it)… 76.2 freaking percent from the field this month. He’s put together three games of at least 30 Fantasy points in his last four games entering Sunday’s trip to the Rockets, and he should continue to thrive off the bench now that Harrison Barnes has returned to the lineup. He’s going cheap at $4,500 at DraftKings and will have some appeal in Tuesday’s game against the Kings.
Luke Kornet, F, Knicks: Kornet made one heck of a first impression. The rookie from Vanderbilt debuted with 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in Friday’s loss to the Raptors, finishing with a nifty 33 Fantasy points over at FantasyDraft.com ($6,000). Kornet is no fluke, as he averaged 15.9 points, 6.2 boards and 1.5 blocks per game in the G-League. Even with Enes Kanter returning to the lineup, Kornet is going to get a chance at significant minutes. Keep him in mind at the 76ers on Monday night.
Cedi Osman, F, Cavaliers: He’s a Fantasy deep sleeper in 2018-19 if a certain King abdicates his throne, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Osman had 37.70 Fantasy points in Friday’s win over the Hawks, as he recorded 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. He’ll likely cede minutes once Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr. formally arrive on the roster, but Osman’s sneaky good upside might be worth a $3,500 investment at FanDuel when the Cavs visit the Thunder on Tuesday.
Jerian Grant, G, Bulls: Quietly, Grant averaged eight assists in his three games last week, including an 11-dime performance in Friday’s win over the Timberwolves. Grant is averaging 8.5 assists per 40 minutes and has an 18.3 percent usage rate with room to grow. You might want to take a gander at his $5,000 salary at DraftKings to gamble if Grant has another 42.50 FP (his total on Friday) game in him against a Magic team ranked 27th points allowed per game.
Another Day, Another DFS Play (Shortened Edition)
Monday: Klay Thompson, G, Warriors (vs. Suns, $6.500/FanDuel): Thompson has averaged 20.1 points per game against the Suns over his career, 46.9 percent from 3-point range. He’s an even stronger buy if Steph Curry -- who tweaked his ankle against the Spurs on Saturday -- just happens to sit out.
Tuesday: Clint Capela, C, Rockets (at Timberwolves, $6.900/DraftKings): C2 entered Sunday’s game against the Mavericks having pulled down at least eight rebounds in ten straight games, with double-doubles in nine of those contests. If Friday’s 59.25 FP monster against the Nuggets didn’t convince you he’s a legit Fantasy star, then I don’t know what to tell you.
Wednesday: Hassan Whiteside, C, Heat (at 76ers, $14,200/FantasyDraft): Since being held to just 20.75 FP against Joel Embiid and the Sixers on February 2, Whiteside has played pissed off, averaging 39.25 Fantasy points in his last three games entering the week. I think he’ll be up for the rematch.
Thursday: Brandon Ingram, F, Lakers (vs. Timberwolves, $7,1000/FanDuel): Right now, the Lakers are his team. Ingram is averaging 9.9 feet on his field goal attempts this season, down from the 12.9 feet he averaged as a rookie last year. Those three feet have helped him improve his field goal percentage to 45.8 percent, a sharp rise from the 40.2 percent Ingram managed as a rookie.
Payton’s Place in the Valley of the Sun
Hope that second round pick in June works out well, Orlando. Elfrid Payton, who the Magic traded to the Suns for that bag of magic beans, scored 19 points and added six rebounds and nine assists in Saturday’s loss to the Nuggets. Despite ranking fourth in pace factor, Phoenix is 28th in offensive rating, with much of the blame coming from an unsettled point guard situation since Eric Bledsoe was traded early in the season.
One game does not a season make, but I’d grab Payton now. The Suns have a wealth of young talent, and while Payton isn’t an elite point guard, he’s good enough to be a difference-maker for both Phoenix and in most Fantasy leagues.
Elfrid Payton had an excellent Suns debut. He got his teammates involved, played solid defense and made great decisions with the ball. He finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists on 8/13 shooting. pic.twitter.com/iCAlZTTS2e
— Phoenix Suns Insider (@InsiderSuns) February 11, 2018
TEAMS PLAYING TWO GAMES THIS WEEK
Hawks, Nets, Bulls, Nuggets, Pistons, Warriors, Rockets, Clippers, Lakers, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Knicks, Thunder, Magic, 76ers, Suns, Kings, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz
TEAMS PLAYING ONE GAME THIS WEEK
Celtics, Hornets, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Pacers, Grizzlies, Trail Blazers, Wizards
Winner: The rich aren’t like you and I, which is why the Warriors will be DFS darlings on Monday against a visiting Suns team ranked last in scoring defense and defensive rating (this could get ugly....) before traveling to Portlandia against a Trail Blazers team they tagged for a 111-104 win in their only other meeting on December 11. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors used at least one of those games to sit Steph Curry ($9,900 at DraftKings) to give him an extra day of rest prior to the All-Star break.
Loser: Yes! We have a returning champion in this category, as the Grizzlies’ sole game this week comes against a Thunder team that is playing surprisingly good defense (fifth in defensive rating). Memphis entered Sunday night’s game at OKC (oddly enough) having lost seven of eight while also failing to score more than 88 points in their last three defeats. Aside from Tyreke Evans ($8,200 at FanDuel), there’s not one Grizzlies player I’d suggest. Then again, Wednesday is Valentine’s Day, so if you’re attached to someone you love, my suggestion is not to make watching this game part of the evening’s festivities.
Elfrid Payton Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
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